As Derek and I have been preparing to return to Zambia, we have been assessing our motives for going. One of the things that I was recently convicted about was the feeling of fulfillment.
When I was in Zambia before and was working with street kids, I often had the opportunity to do basic first aid. I loved it, and that was actually what precipitated the desire to pursue becoming a nurse.
As I related to people why I loved bandaging the feet of street kids, the word I almost always used was “fulfilled.” It was fulfilling to help them, because they were so appreciative. There was no charting or policies or HIPAA forms or worries about getting sued. I did what I could, and they were thankful. It was that simple.
It is always nice to feel appreciated and useful. But that is not the reason we want to go to Zambia. We are going to bring the hope of the Gospel to people dying of HIV or enslaved to cultural misconceptions or living in fear of an abusive spouse/family. And just like when Jesus brought the hope of the New Covenant to his generation and they didn’t like it, so Zambians won’t always like it when we bring it. And yet we go…finding our own hope in Jesus – not in a feeling.